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Corleone crime family

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This article is about the criminal organisation. You may be looking for the bloodline.
Organization
Corleone crime family
Vito Corleone
Don Vito Corleone.
In: New York City
Founded by: Vito Corleone
Years active: 1920-present
Territory: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Reno, Miami
Ethnicity: Italian, Italian-American
Membership: 200-250 made members
Criminal activities: (labor) racketeering, conspiracy, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, bribery, extortion, contract killing, counterfeiting, fencing, hijacking, political corruption, loan sharking, money laundering, murder, fraud, prostitution
Allies: Tommasino clan, Zaluchi family, Molinari family, Falcone family, Bocchicchio clan, Roth syndicate, Clemenza clan
Rivals: Barzini family, Tattaglia family

The Corleone crime family is one of the Five Families operating in New York and in other parts of the United States. The family was formed by Vito Corleone, who fronted his operations by starting the Genco Olive Oil Company.

History

Formation

The family traces its roots to 1920, when Vito Corleone assassinated Little Italy's padrone, Don Fanucci, and took over Fanucci's territory along with fellow hoodlums Genco Abbandando, Peter Clemenza and Salvatore Tessio. Shortly afterward, he founded the Genco Pura Olive Oil Company as a front for his criminal activities. Around 1925, Vito formally organized the family, with Genco as his consigliere and Peter and Sal as caporegimes. They became the most powerful crime family in New York after defeating Salvatore Maranzano, a friend and ally of the late Fanucci, during the Olive Oil War in the early 1930s. It was during this time that Vito's eldest son, Sonny, made his reputation and eventually became a capo himself. The family were instrumental in establishing the Commission in 1934.

The Sollozzo Plot

In 1945, a business proposition from drug kingpin Virgil Sollozzo nearly destroyed the family, hospitalising Don Vito and forcing his eldest son Sonny in action. The situation further escalated when the youngest Corleone brother Michael killed Sollozzo and his bodyguard, Captain McCluskey, forcing him to flee to Sicily. This event triggered the Five Families War. The war claimed the life of acting don Sonny, and the still weak Don Vito sued for peace with the other families, realising that his true enemy was Emilio Barzini, who was attempting to crush the Corleones and become the most powerful don in New York.

Family divides

Vito and caporegimes

Vito and his caporegimes.

After Don Vito's retirement, followed by his death from a heart attack in 1955, the family business was taken over by Michael, who exacted vengeance on the rival family's dons along with Moe Greene, Carlo Rizzi and Tessio for conspiring with the rival heads. After this, Michael moved the family to Las Vegas, Nevada. Michael was attempting to make his business legitimate, but was drawn back into crime after a failed attempt on his life by Miami gangster and old friend and business partner of the Corleone family, Hyman Roth, who was attempting to stop the takeover of Las Vegas. This action resulted in Roth's death as well as the death of Michael's older brother Fredo, who had unwittingly conspired against the Corleones.

Joey Zasa and henchmen

Joey Zasa.

After Michael made the move to Nevada, Peter Clemenza and Salvatore Tessio were allowed to form their own families. However, when Tessio's plot with Barzini to assasinate Michael was uncovered, he was killed. As a result of this, Clemenza took over the Corleone family in New York. When Clemenza died of a supposed heart attack in 1958 he was succeeded by Frank Pentangeli. At this time, the Rosato Brothers formed a rogue faction, secretely backed by Hyman Roth in an attempt to stop Michael's take-over in Las Vegas. This conflict would eventually lead to the demise of both Pentangeli and Roth.

In the years that followed, Joey Zasa was eventually given the former Corleone family territories in New York by the Commission, with Michael Corleone's approval.

Legitimization

By 1979, the Corleone family was almost completely legitimate. Michael sold his interests in all casinos and hotels and was trying to purchase a controlling interest in Immobiliare from the Vatican. However, Joey Zasa, who was awarded the Corleone family business in New York, conspired with aging Don Altobello, and together orchestrated an assassination attempt on Michael in Atlantic City. Shortly after, Joey Zasa was killed by Michael's nephew Vincent Mancini. In 1980, Michael appointed Vincent to be his successor as the Don and head of the Corleone family, allowing him to change his name to Vincent Corleone.

Vito Corleone's family structure (1920s-1955)

 Don Vito Corleone 


 Underboss Sonny Corleone





 Consigliere Genco Abbandando



 Consigliere Tom Hagen




 Caporegime Peter Clemenza

 Soldato Frank Pentangeli



 Soldato Paulie Gatto



 Soldato Luca Brasi



 Soldato Francis Forducci



 Soldato Angelo Granelli



 Soldato Gino Fredonna



 Soldato Frank Darra



 Soldato Bobby Altieri



 Soldato Jimmy Mancini



 Soldato Johnny LaSala



 Soldato Richie Gatto



 Soldato Carmine Rosato



 Soldato Tony Rosato



 Soldato Carmine Fucillo



 Soldato Tony DeRosa



 Soldato Willie Cicci



 Soldato Rocco Lampone



 Associate Carlo Rizzi



 Associate Sally Rags



 Associate Coach



 Caporegime Salvatore Tessio

 Soldato Chris Penarri



 Soldato Nino Arneldi



 Soldato Ricardo Siminni



 Soldato Gino Corsetta



 Soldato Sabastino Sabella



 Soldato Alphonse Evolloni



 Soldato Donato Tolentinicci



 Soldato Victor Vinatonni



 Soldato Frank Corteale



 Soldato Bartolo Neni



 Soldato Lawrence Tippirri



 Soldato Peter Leone



 Soldato Al Hats



 Soldato Eddie Veltri



 Soldato Ken Cuisimano







 Enforcer Al Neri





Michael Corleone's family structure (1955-1959)

 Don Michael Corleone 


 Underboss Fredo Corleone



 Street boss Peter Clemenza





 Consigliere Tom Hagen




 Caporegime Frank Pentangeli

 Soldato Willie Cicci



 Soldato Carmine Coronda



 Soldato Samuel Corocco



 Soldato Alphonse Barino



 Soldato Carmen Della



 Soldato Christoforo D'Binna



 Soldato Carmine Rosato



 Soldato Tony Rosato



 Soldato Carmine Fucillo



 Soldato Tony DeRosa



 Caporegime Al Neri

 Soldato Gaetano De Luna



 Soldato Calogero Radeni



 Soldato Ettore Radeni



 Soldato Gaetano Sirillo



 Soldato Cassandros Fracca



 Soldato Thomas Neri



 Caporegime Rocco Lampone

 Soldato Roberto Nelenza



 Soldato Rafilo Gernzo



 Soldato Salvatore Plumari



 Soldato Natale Parri



 Soldato Tony Dinegio



 Soldato Charles Locirno







 Enforcer Bussetta



 Associate Patrick Geary





Corleone family structure (1979-1980)

1979

 Don Michael Corleone 


 Underboss Al Neri



 Street boss Joey Zasa




 Caporegime Anthony Squigliaro

 Enforcer Big Mike



 Enforcer Frankie



 Enforcer Anthony



 Enforcer Unnamed bodyguard







 Enforcer Vincent Mancini



 Associate Lou Pennino



 Bodyguard Joe



 Bodyguard Armand



 Bodyguard Francesco



 Associate Nicky





1980

 Don Vincent Mancini 


 Underboss Al Neri





 Consigliere Michael Corleone





 Caporegime Lou Pennino




Historical leadership

Boss

Street boss

The street boss was a title created by Michael Corleone to insulate himself from criminal activities. The street boss controlled the NYC activities as a real boss, but under the orders of Michael.

Underboss

Consigliere

Capos

The Bronx faction

Brooklyn faction

Manhattan faction

Nevada faction

Clemenza's organization

Peter Clemenza's regime, in subsequent years, seemed to pursue criminal ventures that they wouldn't have approached when the old guard was still there. The Rosato Brothers, soldiers in Clemenza's crew who eventually formed a rogue faction, were heavily involved in narcotics and prostitution, hardly getting involved with their gambling rackets. They also had extensive dealings with black and Hispanic criminals, presumably employing them for their narcotics operations, and garnered reputations for acts of violence in Italian neighbourhoods. Joey Zasa, who took over Clemenza's old crew at some point, also brought black and Hispanic criminals into his organisation and turned a blind eye to their dealing narcotics in his territory.

Behind the scenes

  • It is said that the Corleone family is inspired by the real-life Borgia family from Renaissance Italy in the late 15th century.[6]
  • Compared to the real Five Families the Corleone family draws comparisons to the Bonanno family.[7] The Brooklyn based Bonanno family inherited a large part of the Maranzano organization and expanded their interests to other parts of the United States, notably Arizona. The internal conflict within the Bonanno family dubbed the Banana war in the 1960s inspired events in The Godfather novel. In addition, Connie Corleone's wedding is based on the wedding of Salvatore Bonanno to Rosalie Profaci.[8]
  • Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo envisioned The Godfather IV, which would be about the downfall of Vincenzo Corleone, as he lead the family into drug dealing and bringing about his demise in a similar fashion as the death of Pablo Escobar.[1]
  • The real life Corleonesi became the most powerful Sicilian crime group after fighting a bloody mafia war against their rivals in the early 1980s.

Gallery

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Godfather Part III commentary by Francis Ford Coppola
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 In the storyline of The Godfather Returns.
  3. The Sicilian by Mario Puzo
  4. The Godfather Part III
  5. The Godfather novel by Mario Puzo
  6. The Borgias - The Original Crime Family. Showtime, seen on TV.com.
  7. Bonanno Crime Family Finds Wealth, Turmoil. Los Angeles Times.
  8. Capeci, Jerry (2005). The Complete Idiots Guide to the Mafia. Alpha, p. 213. ISBN 1592573053.

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